April 2012 Resolution on Labor and MAASA Meetings

WHEREAS, hotel union representation raises wages, supplies benefits, and protects worker dignity, thereby insuring that economic growth benefits a workforce often composed of people of color, and particularly women of color; and

WHEREAS, the Mid-America American Studies Association’s decision to hold meeting in union or non-union hotels strengthens or weakens the ability of these workers and their unions to secure better working conditions and contribute to equitable urban growth; and

WHEREAS, MAASA’s national parent organization, the American Studies Association, adopted a similar resolution in 2004;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mid-America American Studies Association will be guided by a principle of union preference in negotiating hotel and service contracts for its annual conference and any other meetings organized by the Association; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that those responsible for negotiating and administering said contracts shall, in accordance with this principle of union preference:

  1. attempt to select a union hotel and union service providers if such hotels and providers are available in the city selected for the conference or meeting and if any such hotels and providers respond to a request for proposals; and
  2. bear in mind any labor disputes at a contracted hotel or service provider and take active measures, excluding ones that would drastically deplete the Association’s treasury, to support workers engaged in such disputes (e.g., measures to respect picket lines and boycotts).

Adopted by the MAASA Executive Board on April 1, 2012, and by the MAASA membership meeting on April 2, 2012, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.